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"A frustrating but intriguing debut for Wally Pfister."
3 stars
Brett Gallman says... "“Transcendence” looks to be hung up on big ideas, but it’s less a ponderous thesis and more of a good keynote address: it’s flashy, attention-grabbing, full of clichés, and is sold on musings and promises, some of which it actually manages to deliver on. Most of them, however, merely serve as a platform for another technophobic vision of the apocalypse, so Wally Pfister’s directorial debut is but one of many prophets shouting in a crowded landscape." (more)
"Swing and a..."
3 stars
Daniel Kelly says... "2012’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” was a competent work, but its need for being never felt genuine. Repeating an origin story that a superior film-maker had spent the best part of ten years excavating, the reboot was a digestible summer commodity, but hardly a necessary re-evaluation of everyone’s favourite web-slinger. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” doesn’t really make a great deal of progress in justifying Sony’s franchise continuation (at least artistically). The feature manages to ascertain a greater sense of personal identity than its predecessor, but the script’s a mess and much like Sam Raimi’s franchise halting “Spider-Man 3” suffers a severe faulty villain complex." (more)
"Engaging Romantic Comedy"
3 stars
Jack Sommersby says... "One of those art-house endeavors that probably wouldn't play well with today's mainstream audiences who think the hoary "The Hangover" is the greatest thing since sliced bread." (more)
"Highly animated, though not as much as it could be."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 16: "The Congress" divides fairly naturally into three or four parts, and the Futurological Congress which gives the film is name (and was presumably much more central to Stanislas Lem's original novel) is probably the least interesting despite having the most going on. One almost wonders why filmmaker Ari Folman didn't just make a movie with everything else and cite Lem as an inspiration, because that still leaves a heck of a smart, unusual science fiction film." (more)
"One of the more uplifting movies about suicide you'll see."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 16: I didn't quite avoid "Love Eternal" when it played at another festival last year, but I certainly didn't have much trouble choosing what was on the other screen whenever the Irish death-fetish film was playing. I'm not saying that was a mistake - I liked the other movies I saw at Fantasia - but I was quite pleasantly surprised at how much I wound up enjoying this one." (more)
TEN (2014)
"Doesn't even have ten vague ideas to it."
1 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 16: By the time "Ten" is over, it has maybe managed to beat its story into making some kind of sense, or at least into the kind of nonsense that the audience can sort of work with. That's probably not the sort of reaction filmmakers Sophia Cacciola & Michael J. Epstein had in mind - it's unusual enough to be the result of some ambition - but the rookie filmmakers seem to have set themselves a task that's more they can handle just yet." (more)
"At Last--This Generation's "Lawnmower Man""
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... ""Transcendence" is a would-be technological thriller that not only utterly fails to achieve its titular state but cannot even work up the necessary oomph to make it to the level of basic competence. It has a potentially promising premise and a strong cast but both are squandered on an end product that wastes both thanks to clumsy screenwriting, listless acting and a fundamental lack of interest and insight into the issues that it raises and then abandons. Put it this way--if you ever wanted to see what a David Cronenberg movie might be like if all of the quirky, icky and genuinely thought-provoking concepts that make his films so distinctive were kicked to the curb in exchange for a jumbo-sized production budget and a star-studded cast, this is your kind of movie. For everyone else, this is one the kind of dopey potboiler that is all the more frustrating because it clearly thinks that it is smarter and more profound than it really is." (more)
"The road to hell is paved with Nicki Minaj cameos"
1 stars
Daniel Kelly says... "It’s likely that director Nick Cassavetes believes “The Other Woman” to be an empowering mainstream comedy, a flick in which sisters really are doing it for themselves. The reality of the situation is different; the film an imbecilic and withered concoction of flat humour and creepy plotting. “The Other Woman” feels like a calculated attempt to offend audiences, particularly those of the fairer sex, at whom this celluloid dump has been unapologetically marketed. Its character choices and fixation with middle-class strife intensify the nausea, but ultimately it’s the witless writing that sinks the enterprise. Granted, no movie that features multiple poop gags, an impossibly gross Don Johnson subplot and a Nicki Minaj cameo has much of a chance, but a few solid rib-ticklers might just have made it bearable. Instead “The Other Woman” bungles even the easiest bursts of jesting, focusing on its overstretched narrative and deplorable consequences." (more)
"Does not have to sell its soul to tell its story."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 16: I am going to guess that the makers of "Starry Eyes" have not necessarily always enjoyed their time trying to make it in L.A. Sure, just by having made this movie, they have managed to get further than their characters, but it's not hard to see the inspiration for this movie: Take everything people say in jest about what it takes to succeed in Hollywood, and mean it." (more)
"Americans do love their Jesus."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 16: As one of the many interviewees in this documentary notes, developed countries worldwide have generally seen a rise in the standard of living reflected by a decrease in strong religious faith, with the United States of America as an anomaly: As other nations grow more secular, vocal Christians grow ever more prominent in this nation. Why this is the case is just one of the questions Spanish director Aram Garriga asks, and even if he doesn't exactly answer any of them, what he finds along the way is generally interesting." (more)

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